Yesterday the WBA announced that the purse for their Cruiserweight title bout between Kazakh world champion Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Амирханович Шуменов] and Frenchman Arsen Goulamirian (24-0, 16) had been rescheduled, again.
Originally the purse bids were set for February 4th, then February 6th and now they are set for February 13th.
There was no clear reason given, but it should be noted that there was several other purse bids set for February 6th, today, and it seems like they are set to be cancelled due to fighters taking unification bouts. This is the case at Super Bantamweight, where world champion Daniel Roman (26-2-1, 10) looks set to unify with IBF champion TJ Doheny (21-0, 15), and at Lightweight, where Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9) and Richard Commey (28-2, 25) will look to unify the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.
As a result of the unification bouts we'll see the mandatory title bouts at Super Bantamweight, featuring Uzbek Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] and a Lightweight, with Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13) being put on the back burner, for now at least.
Given the unification bouts it makes sense to cancel the purse bids at 122lbs and 130lbs though delaying the Cruiserweight doesn't make much sense.
Earlier this month the WBA ordered several purse bids, though had confusing time frames for several of them. Today however they set new dates for the 4 purse bids that they had previously ordered.
Whilst several of those bouts don't concern the Asian boxing scene, 2 of them do. They are the Cruiserweight title bout between Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Амирханович Шуменов] and Frenchman Arsen Goulamirian (24-0, 16), as well as the Super Bantamweight bout between Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович], from Uzbekistan, and American world champion Daniel Roman (26-2-1, 10).
The bouts have been changed from February 4th to February 6th.
As well as changing the dates the WBA also announced the purse splits. For the Super Bantamweight title bout the purse will be split 75/25, in favour of the champion, whilst the Cruiserweight bout will be split 55/45, again in favour of the champion.
The minimum bids for the bouts have been set at $200,000 for the Cruiserweight contest and $120,000 for the Super Bantamweight bout.
As well as the two with an Asian interest there will also be a Heavyweight title bout and a Lightweight title bout with purse bids taking place at the same time.
Over the last few days it's been revealed that Dmitry Bivol (15-0, 11) [дмитрий бивол], Shakhram Giyasov (6-0, 5) [Shahram G‘iyosov], Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] and Sergey Kuzmin (14-0, 11) would be back in action in March, on the same show in the US.
At the moment specific details haven't been revealed as to who the aforementioned fighters will be facing, though there are rumours surrounding all the fighters. The rumours are pretty much going to be short lived one with Vadim Kornilov expected to announce the details, of at least the main event, by the end of next week.
At the moment it's unclear whether this decision is a major change in plans, with Giyasov having previously been targeting a bout at the Milliy Stadium in Tashkent, or whether it's merely a minor diversion and and Tashkent bout will still take place. It's also unclear whether Akhmadaliev will be getting a rumour world title fight, or will end up having to wait. Thankfully everything is expected to be cleared in the near future.
It's worth noting that nothing has been mentioned of Isrial Madrimov (1-0, 1) [Isroil Madrimov], who would make sense to be added on to this card unless something very big is around the corner for the Light Middleweight hopeful.
In 2018 we managed to see a lot of fighters essentially come out of nowhere to make a name for themselves, grab attention and make the most of opportunities put their way. These have included fighters like Shohjahon Ergashev, who grabbed the attention of the American boxing fans by stopping Sonny Fredrickson on January 12th in an eye-catching and exciting performance, and Masayuki Ito, who made his US debut and upset Christopher Diaz in a WBO Super Featherweight title bout. Others have come out and made a mark in 2018 included people who stunned us on debut, like Israil Madrimov, Masahiro Suzuki, Apichet Petchmanee and Ginjiro Shigeoka.
The biggest revelation this year was someone who didn't just make his debut in 2018, but also raced out to being the #1 ranked WBA Super Bantamweight contender, after just 5 fight!
That man is Murodjon Akhmadaliev, the 24 year old Uzbek hopeful who has turned heads in a big way since his debut back in March.
As an amateur Akhmadaliev had a reported 300-15 (80) record, competed at the very highest level, reaching the semi-finals of the 2016 Olympics and winning the 2017 Asian Games. Rather than see the move from amateur boxing to professional boxing as being a time to adapt to a new code the youngster took to the professional ranks like a duck to water. On his stopping David Michel Paz in 68 seconds. He would go on to capture the WBA Inter-Continental title just over 5 months later, in his 4th bout, before stopping the world ranked Isaac Zarate in 9 rounds.
Whilst world rankings aren't always indicative of someones ability or credentials it's hard to doubt how good Akhmadaliev has looked, and there's a great chance that by the end of 2019 he'll be holding a world title. His 2018 has put him firmly on the map, and we expect to see a lot more fans talking about him after his next fight.
According to reports in the Uzbek media today the highly touted Shakhram Giyasov (6-0, 5) [Shahram G‘iyosov] will be fighting in Tashkent, at the 34,000 seater Milliy Stadium.
The Uzbek fighter has had an excellent 2018, fighting 6 times in the year, beating notable foes like Albert Mensah, Julio Laguna and Miguel Zamudio.
Although regarded as a top Uzbek prospect he's yet to actually fight as a professional in his native homeland, where he's expected to spend the new year. He has fought in the UK and the US, actually fighting in Wembley for one of those fights, so to see him make a home coming next year will be huge news for the Uzbek boxing scene.
Interestingly there's not been a date mentioned for the fight, but the suspicion is that the bout will take place on a major show, which may feature several other Uzbek's in high profile bouts, thanks to the backing of Giyasov's promoter World of Boxing, who also promote fellow Uzbek's Isrial Madrimov (1-0, 1) [Isroil Madrimov] and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович].
We're expecting more on this story in January as the plans begin to develop for the show.
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
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